14th Cinema Vérité postponed for eight days due to COVID-19
Art and Experience: The pandemic in Tehran has pushed back the start of the 14th edition of the Cinéma Vérité festival, Iran’s major international festival for documentary films, one week to December 15.
The festival will be running totally online from December 15 to 22.
“The delay will help the organizers have a better chance to arrange the programs, and will give the filmmakers more time to submit their works,” the director of the festival, Mohammad Hamidi-Moqaddam, said in an online press conference held on Wednesday.
“After the spread of the coronavirus in the world, many festivals were cancelled, but after several months, the world’s big festivals were determined to keep their festivals going,” he said.
“And we at the Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC), which is the main organizer of the festival, decided to hold the festival totally online,” added Hamidi-Moqaddam who is also the director of the DEFC.
“In the international section, we decided to screen and review a selection of documentaries acclaimed at 2020 international events across the world in a section named ‘World’s Best’,” he noted.
“We also lost a number of beloved filmmakers over the past year and we will dedicate each day to pay tribute to one of them including Khosro Sinai, Akbar Alemi, Hamid Soheili and Manuchehr Tayyab during the festival,” he explained.
“While we will also honour filmmakers Kamran Shirdel, Mahvash Sheikholeslami and Farshad Fadaian,” he added.
He later noted that the films will stream online on different platforms of Filimo, TVA, and Hashure, the Iranian platforms providing video on demand (VOD) service for films.
A lineup of 30 documentaries will be competing for the Avini Awards during the festival.
The award has been established by DEFC to commemorate martyr Morteza Avini, the writer and documentarian who chronicled the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war known as the Sacred Defense in Iran.
Documentaries on the Islamic Revolution, the Sacred Defense and resistance in the region will be competing for the award.
Twenty-five films on COVID-19 will also be competing in Cinéma Vérité in the special category set up this year to attract attention to this disastrous disease.
A number of top Iranian and international documentarians and critics will be holding online workshops and panel discussions during the festival.
Participating international figures include Betsy A. McLane, Bill Nichols and James Bertrand Longley in addition to famous Iranian documentarians Mehrdad Oskui and Farhad Varahram.
In addition, Cinéma Vérité will review the Chilean documentary cinema during a special program named “Chilean Films Panorama”.
A number of acclaimed documentaries by Chilean filmmakers, including Francisco Bermejo’s documentary “The Other One”, will be screened in this section.